Sunday, February 17, 2013

You've got a Friend in Me

All my life friendship has been a huge theme in my life. Who likes me, who hates me, not enough friends, too many friends, are we more than friends? Are we parting ways? Is it legal to befriend a penguin? It's something we deal with everyday. Keeping in touch with people enough but not too much.... all these silly issues that really aren't a big deal in the bigger picture.

Unfortunately, friends are an important part of life, though. We need them as we develop, in order to form relationships and learn how to interact with people. We need to work with them in the future at school and usually at work. It's all so important and yet, friendships come and go. I know mine do. I'll be super close friends with someone for years and suddenly we hit a bump in the road and it all falls apart. This is not just junior high stuff, I am talking about life. When we go out there and people don't learn to look past the little bumps. Heck, even the big bumps. Of course, there is a line between a friend with vices and a friend who treats you poorly, but for the most part, we don't forgive the things that shouldn't matter much. In the end, we'll all be on our death beds thinking, "Man, I wish ____ could be here. I just want to say I am sorry/I forgive ____ before I die." That may sound melodramatic but it becomes more important each year.

I don't mean to say friends are the most important people in our lives, though. I grew up with either none or very few at times and that had its own benefits. There's certainly no shame in being a loner. The only people who don't like it are people that you don't want to be with anyway! So that's no bother. Of course, being a loner doesn't mean you necessarily hate being with people. Every day I learn to appreciate people more, myself.

On the other hand, having friends means there are people out there with a hold on you. You begin to care how they feel about you and when they get angry or hurt or upset at you, you can easily begin to blame yourself or let them abuse you. This is risky, particularly if you are the more easygoing type. Friendship is certainly a two-way rode. Acceptance doesn't mean accepting everything a person does to hurt you but it does mean accepting everything that  the person but deal with in their own life. This is the challenge of companionship. Thus, we find those we are compatible with and who can tolerate the difficulties of being with us. Not someone who says, "I put up with A, so you should appreciate me!" or "I'll put up with B but if it becomes inconvenient or frustrating, I'm out!" What you have to expect and look for in people is, "I understand you're like C, I can learn to love that about you. I won't deny that it's difficult but you're worth it." Something along those lines. This is how you know the difference between someone being your friend with an ulterior motive or a disinterested party and someone who will stand by you no matter what and therefore, you should commit time and effort into your friendship.

I don't know, just seems like the right way to do it to me!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How aproposie!

I am not bitter or stubborn or angry or mean about Valentine's day.

I don't care if people waste money on candy and lovely things.

I don't even care if I'm alone and not heard a single, "Will you be my valentine?" (which I have been most years)

How am I so 'okay' with this? Because it's a holiday about love! How many of those do you get? One. Only one a year. Which is why people are so excited about it. Which is also why people hate it. The one day of the year where anything could happen, anyone could admit they're in love with you, anyone could send you a surprise basket of pink and red balloons to your office. Once that day is over, your dreams are dashed.

As a modern female, I see why women get terrified around this holiday. Who will do and say what? What if they don't do it or say it the way you want it done and said? What if no one does or says anything to you or for you and you're the only one and you lose your mind and adopt 14 cats and are alone for the rest of your life?

There are a few ways of looking at this situation.

1. I don't need a man to feel worth something. I will go out and rock the single life! Non-committal till death!


3. Sure, I have a boyfriend/husband but Valentine's day is still stupid. He shows me he loves me everyday. We don't need a holiday.

4. Yeah, I have a boyfriend/husband but he's such an idiot. He's going to mess up Valentine's day again. Such a stupid holiday.

Etcetera, etcetera...

Now, why not instead embrace what you have while allowing growth if and when the opportunity comes along?

Maybe I'm alone and hopeless for valentine's day, so I can go for a massage or to a movie or go out with friends or a bar. What if I have a useless significant other? So go out anyway! Either make him something or celebrate in the house with cuddle time and a nice meal. If he doesn't show any interest in this or you... well, you two probably have bigger issues than a holiday.

Point is, yeah, it's a silly, money-wasting kind of holiday but it's the only holiday that celebrates something super magnificent like love rather than Jesus or Witches or surviving another year! No one has to be bitter about it. You can the opportunity to ask the cute guy on the street if he wants to spend the holiday with you. People are looking to be charmed on this holiday and surprised and are more open to meeting someone knew to care about, so why not catch the love bug and just enjoy it?

If nothing else, go to the pet store, there's always a puppy, kitten, or guinea pig that would LOVE to snuggle you and shower you with kisses. As a matter of fact, there is no human that would show you as much love a a puppy or whatever will. How about going to volunteer? Show love, even when you don't feel as if you're receiving it. You can begin the love because I assure you there are tons of people out there who are feeling the same way you are and you have an open opportunity to express it towards them. Family works too, of course. If you can't find a way to celebrate a day about love, you are seriously not paying attention to the world around you.

"Oh, I have to work. Not a moment to do anything..." So hug your co-worker or be extra friendly to the janitor. Add heart stickers to your binder. Write a platonic love note to the cubicle next to yours or to your boss (if you're close like that.)

I have given you a billion ways of celebrating, so go out there and get your love on. Stop being so glum and open your heart. Just for one day, is all I ask. Maybe you'll like it enough that you can indeed make it a full time thing. Who knows!